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Poster: Fact_Checker Date: May 28, 2009 6:22am
Forum: feature_films Subject: Re: Is "Side Street" (1950) in the p.d.?

Moongleam wrote:
> I couldn't find a renewal at
> www.copyright.gov.

What you need to understand is that your search for a renewal on a 1950 work shouldn't end with copyright.gov/records.

It has always been the case with 1909-1977 works that copyright renewal occurs in the last year of the first term. For a 1950 work, this means from the 27TH ANNIVERSARY. The opportunity to renew began in 1977. The copyright.gov database includes only records from 1978 and later. 1977 is too early for a database which begins in 1978. Thus, because the renewal could have occurred in 1977 or 1978, you shouldn't think you've hit a brick wall simply because the renewal wasn't among the 1978 records (and thus not in copyright.gov).

You really need to consider what year(s) a work could have validly been renewed. I suggest you start with a table such as this one at copyrightdata.com:

http://chart.copyrightdata.com/index.php#renew

Scroll down slightly to where there is a table headed "Was a renewal filing found? If so, use this table". This will provide information on which range of dates are valid. The term "anniversary date" is used because each 1950 work can have any of 365 possible copyright-beginning dates.

I also suggest using the charts on the other parts of the page for answers to other aspects of copyright which might affect this or any other work.